Disturbing reports are emerging that a town council in Turkey has started to demolish property that it claims has been built illegally in a planning crackdown…
Didim Council has drawn up a list of almost 700 properties that is wants demolished or partly demolished as they violate planning laws. Bulldozers have already started to take down the outer garden wall of a well known hotel.
At a meeting last week, held behind closed doors, council members agreed to implement zoning land planning laws more strictly in order to prevent unlicensed construction and to make Didim a better looking place.
As long ago as October it announced a list of 472 buildings it claimed were in breach of laws and this has now grown to 690. Those on the list include cafés, jetties, the Garden of Sun Hotel's roof, garden and pool and a number of properties owned by foreigners.
When Property Wire tried to find out more a council spokesman refused to issue a definitive list. But according to local newspaper reports a number of well known sites are affected including a building owned by the chairman of Didim Chamber of Commerce Ufuk Döver. Many are commercial properties but the council would not say if any private residences are involved.
The owners can undertake the demolition work or the council will do it, the Garden of Sun Hotel faced an order to demolish the gardens and pools as they were built illegally on Agricultural scrubland.
Owners, the Karakaş family, said they were stunned. They had hoped for retrospective planning permission and said the council had indicated it would consider altering the status of the land. But bulldozers have now started tearing at the garden wall.
The council has also given the hotel 85 days in which to remove all equipment from storage areas under the pool and gardens in readiness for the demolition work to continue. ‘If they want to carry on with this they will have to knock most of Didim as the council should not have allowed them to be built in the first place,' said owner Nurettin Karakaş. ‘I am not saying we have done the correct thing. We made mistakes but our hotel is among of the best in the Aegean region and we are trying to sort these issues with the ministries at the moment,' he told local newspaper Voices.